Is your baby crazy about carrots? Does your toddler go mad for melon? Current research suggests that your child’s food preferences are likely to begin whilst still in the womb.

From as early as 21 weeks, foetuses can tell the difference between strong flavours using their sense of taste and smell. They will even swallow more amniotic fluid when the flavour is sweet rather than bitter.

Julie Mennella, from Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Centre says, “amniotic fluid is a complex ‘first food’ that contains chemicals that have both tastes and smells.” This may lead to a fondness for certain foods, which could make weaning easier.

But if your pregnancy diet was less than perfect, don’t worry. Alison Ventura, assistant professor in nutritional sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia points out that the long-term effects are still unknown: “How long does it last? What are the other possible factors that might mediate the effect over time? You can imagine it’s pretty complex – that having broccoli when you’re a foetus doesn’t mean you’re going to love it when you’re an adult.”

Do you think that the foods you ate during pregnancy have affected your child’s preferences? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

For full Guardian article visit: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/apr/08/child-food-preferences-womb-pregnancy-foetus-taste-flavours